Milpitas keeps water restrictions, though drought ‘myth’ alleged by councilman

The Milpitas City Council has delayed lifting its last restrictions on water use since California declared a state of emergency because of drought four years ago.

After lengthy discussion on Tuesday, council kept in place a voluntary 10 percent reduction in water usage and four-day schedule for lawn watering, and said it would revisit the rule in the spring. The Citizens Task Force on Water Rates had recommended council end those limits.

“I’m thinking that waiting a few months until we see what’s going on … is going to be more beneficial to our community than making a snap decision tonight,” Vice Mayor Marsha Grilli said. Rather than voting on an ordinance that would fail, the council decided to take no action. Mayor Rich Tran and Councilman Garry Barbadillo suggested they would have supported ending the limits.

During the drought, one of Milpitas’s water providers — the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission — waived its minimum usage requirements. That allowed the city to pay only for the amount of water it ended up using from them. (SFPUC provides roughly two-thirds of the water in Milpitas, with the Santa Clara Valley Water District providing the rest.)

Now that the city must pay for at least a certain amount of water from SFPUC, it doesn’t make economic sense to impose any sort of limitations, said Tony Ndah, who was named Public Works Department director on Tuesday.

But Richard Santos, a director of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, cautioned the council that it was too soon to say whether lifting the restrictions would be a good idea from an environmental standpoint.

“I think it’s premature,” Santos said. “I would hope you would wait until around April or May to get more statistics.”

In April 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown ended the drought state of emergency for most counties.

As a result, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

The Latest: Trump’s Palm Beach trip depends on budget deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local):

8:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump will not leave for a weekend at his Palm Beach estate unless a government shutdown is averted.

The White House said Friday that Trump will not head to Florida unless a funding bill passes.

Trump was set to leave Friday afternoon and planned to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump tweeted Friday morning about the Friday night shutdown deadline, suggesting Democrats would be to blame.

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7:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump says Senate Democrats are focused on “illegal immigration and weak borders” as a government shutdown looms.

Trump says on Twitter Friday: “Government Funding Bill past (sic) last night in the House of Representatives. Now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate – but they want illegal immigration and weak borders.”

He adds: “Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!”

A divided Congress stared down a government shutdown Friday as Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked on immigration.

After the House passed a four-week, government-wide spending bill, Senate Democrats vowed a filibuster unless there’s a deal to protect around 700,000 immigrants from deportation who arrived in the U.S. as children and stayed illegally.

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1:08 a.m.

A bitterly-divided Congress is hurtling toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported.

Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that passed the House Thursday evening, seeking to shape a subsequent measure but exposing themselves to charges they are responsible for a looming shutdown.

Republicans controlling the narrowly-divided chamber took up the fight, arguing that Democrats were holding the entire government hostage over demands to protect “Dreamer” immigrants brought to the country illegally …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

Government shutdown nears as Senate Democrats vow filibuster

By ANDREW TAYLOR and ALAN FRAM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bitterly divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported.

Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that cleared the House Thursday evening, seeking to shape a subsequent measure but exposing themselves to charges they are responsible for a looming shutdown.

Republicans controlling the narrowly split chamber took up the fight, arguing that Democrats were holding the entire government hostage over demands to protect “dreamer” immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

“Democratic senators’ fixation on illegal immigration has already blocked us from making progress on long-term spending talks,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “That same fixation has them threatening to filibuster funding for the government.”

President Donald Trump entered the fray early Friday morning, mentioning the House-approved bill on Twitter, adding: “Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate – but they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!”

The White House said Friday that Trump will not leave for a planned weekend in Florida unless a funding bill passes. Trump had been set to leave Friday afternoon for Mar-a-Lago to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.

In the House, Republicans muscled the measure through on a mostly party-line 230-197 vote after making modest concessions to chamber conservatives and defense hawks. House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately summoned reporters to try to pin the blame on top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.

A test vote on a filibuster by Senate Democrats appeared likely before the shutdown deadline of Friday at midnight. Schumer was rebuffed in an attempt to vote …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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